Former captain appointed development manager

Bandula Warnapura joins ACC

Sa'adi Thawfeeq

June 8, 2008

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Bandula Warnapura, the former Sri Lankan captain, has been appointed development manager of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC). Warnapura will continue his current position as director of operations with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) till the end of this month, before relocating to Malaysia.

"I got an offer from the ACC for the development manager's post which was almost the same work that I had been doing with SLC," Warnapura said. "Arjuna [Ranatunga] being the ACC chairman was also spoken to. I applied with his blessings."

Warnapura's work with ACC covers about 18-20 countries and involves infrastructure, game development and service areas like umpiring, conducting of tournaments, curators, physios, trainers, maintenance of wickets etc.

"It's nothing new but the cultures are different," he said. "One of the major areas which the ACC is concentrating is China and women's cricket. Those are areas which I will have to work," said Warnapura whose two-year contract with the ACC is renewable.

"I think I have a lot more to give, provided the facilities and finances are available. With the World Cup coming in another three years (to the subcontinent), a lot of work has to be done. At this stage I think it is better for me to have a change."

Warnapura will leave SLC with a great sense of satisfaction. He was the tournament director of the 2006 Under-19 World Cup in Sri Lanka, which was conducted without losses, as compared to the previous occasion the country hosted the tournament, back in 2000. He has also drawn up a five-year plan for the development of schools cricket, for which he has obtained an approval for Rs 250 million. This has now been entrusted to another former Sri Lankan cricketer, DS de Silva.

His other achievement is the new Pallakelle Stadium in Kandy, the first phase of which is nearing completion. According to Warnapura, it will be able to host domestic matches in another three months.

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